Published: Thu, June 21, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

England’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek wants bigger Chelsea role or may leave

England’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek wants bigger Chelsea role or may leave

Paul Merson has claimed that Dele Alli should not play for England against Panama when the two teams meet in Sunday's World Cup Group G encounter in Nizhny Novgorod.

Dele Alli has handed England a World Cup injury headache, with scans revealing that the midfielder has suffered "a slight thigh strain".

"Hopefully I am OK".

Chelsea midfielder Loftus-Cheek played the last 10 minutes of England's opening match, during which period Harry Kane scored a stoppage-time victor, and he said he is ready to be part of Gareth Southgate's starting line-up if called upon.

The 22-year-old has made 31 appearances for the Blues since making his debut in December 2014, 19 coming as a substitute, and the lack of opportunities led to him spending last season on loan at Crystal Palace.

"But he felt he could carry on and I thought the runs that he was making and the way he was pressing the ball was still causing a problem".

And Southgate has revealed why he didn't replace Alli earlier despite his thigh problem. "And we felt to put the freshness of Marcus (Rashford) and Ruben (Loftus-Cheek) would both bring fresh energy but also a different sort threat to the one that we'd posed". England then repeatedly knocked on the door but could not break through and it seemed as though they would have to settle for a point before Kane's late heroics.

"That's the key for me next season regarding where I end up: I want to play", he said. "There's plenty of goals I've seen all over this team and I think if everyone's chipping in and pulling in the same direction it just sets us up right for the next game".

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